What better way to conjure up memories of the joys of youth than strawberry shortcake? Strawberry shortcake is one of the easiest desserts to prepare, a perfect finish to a family meal or for serving a large group of people, because it scales so easily.
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake
To make strawberry shortcake, all you have to do is toss sliced fresh strawberries in sugar, and let them set for a bit to macerate. The sugar will draw moisture out of the strawberries and dissolve to make a syrupy sauce. Serve the strawberries over white cake or biscuits, and top with whipped cream.
Do you like your shortcake with cake or biscuits? I’m from the camp that insists that strawberry shortcake is made with a biscuit, not a cake.
Growing up we always made the shortcake biscuits with Bisquick baking mix, but now I just make biscuits from scratch, it’s easy!
The biscuit recipe I’ve included here is adapted from one I pulled from Fine Cooking magazine years ago. The original recipe used a cup and a half of cream in addition to one and half sticks of butter, which I think is a little over the top. In this recipe I’m using mostly milk with a little bit of cream (and the butter).
The butter, milk, and cream combo produces a beautifully tender, flaky biscuit, perfect for serving with the strawberries!
One of the things I’ve learned over the years making strawberry shortcake is that you always want more. It’s easy enough to macerate more berries, but once you run out of the biscuits? It’s a mega bummer. So for this recipe we are making a batch of 9 biscuits. Good enough for 6 people, plus more for seconds!
My father wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t include a link for making his favorite Bisquick biscuits, for those of you who prefer this classic. We also have gluten-free biscuits for those who don’t want to give up strawberry shortcake just because they’re avoiding gluten.
If you like strawberry shortcake, you’ll love these recipes
Recipe and photos updated, first published 2006
Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
I updated the biscuit recipe to use less cream. If you liked the original, use 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream in place of the 1 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of cream.
Strawberries and whipping cream:
- 3 baskets of fresh strawberries (about 6 cups)
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar for the strawberries
- Whipping cream
- Powdered sugar
- 3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 Tbsp (168g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup (236 ml) milk
- 1/4 (60 ml) cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Prep the strawberries: Cut the stems away from the strawberries and discard. Cut the strawberries in half, and then either quarters or thick slices.
2 Macerate the strawberries with sugar: Put the cut strawberries into a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Start with 1/4 cup of sugar and then add up to another 1/4 cup depending on how sweet your strawberries are. Gently stir the strawberries until they are all coated with some sugar.
Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, until the berries soften and begin to release their juices.
3 Mash some of the strawberries: After 20 minutes or so, mash about half of the berries in the bowl with a potato masher and stir to mix.
You don’t want to mash all the berries, just enough of them for their juices. Let sit while you bake the biscuits.
4 Bake the biscuits using one of the recipes below.
5 Make whipped cream: While the biscuits are baking, whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.
To serve, break up one biscuit per person into big pieces into a bowl. Ladle strawberries over the biscuit. Add a dollop of whipped cream.
1 Stir flour with dry ingredients: In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2 Work in the butter: Cut the butter into the flour mixture, either using your fingers, a pastry cutter, a fork, or a food processor, until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas.
3 Add the wet ingredients: Stir together the milk and cream, add the vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the milk mixture into it.
Mix with a fork or wooden spoon until the mixture is just combined. It should look rather shaggy. Gently knead by hand a few times to form a loose ball of dough.
4 Chill: Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form it into an 8-inch square, about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Place it on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
5 Bake: Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 9 even squares and space them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet.
Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
Makes 9 biscuits.
For quick and easy shortcake biscuits using Bisquick baking mix, see our Bisquick shortcake biscuit recipe.
For flaky, fluffy, tender gluten-free biscuits, see our Gluten-free Biscuits Recipe.
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